After three weeks that the families of al Hadidiya have been sleeping out in the open, the resistance and campaigning has achieved a temporary respite: Israeli courts granted a freeze for the demolitions. Since Israeli military bulldozers entered the village on November 25 the families have been holding out without shelter on their land. Now they have been able to erect again at least temporary tents.
The families of al Hadidiya that suffered from the destruction of their homes and the sheds for their livestock have been resisting until the court order issued on December 13 sleeping out in the cold and the rain, determined not to leave their land. Tents that have been brought in by aid organizations have been confiscated and one niht, the military even tore the plastic cover from over the bodies of the people. Campaigning, lobbying and eventually a strong condemnation by the European Union have helped to achieve this court order. Now the families have received emergency tents in which to find shelter. Al Hadidiya now has to find funds to rebuild homes and animal shelters and the dirt road, which was the reason for the retaliatory demolitions in the first place, as well as to comply with the condition
The court order demands the community to do a land survey, which will cost each family 2500 NIS and to apply to Israeli authorities to be granted a building permit. These applications for permissions for ‘urban masterplans’ are hardly ever approved by Israeli authorities. Yet, this is a way at least a way to gain time in the struggle for survival of the community.
Al Hadidiya has been already eight times demolished and is suffering ongoing persecution by the military. The community has become a key focal point for Israeli repression and ethnic cleansing policies as achieving the displacement of the community would not only make space for the further expansion of the illegal settlement Roi, built on al Hadidiya’s land. Israeli forces hope that breaking the resistance of this community may have a demoralizing effect on the other communities in the Jordan Valley.
Yet, the Jordan Valley and al Hadidiya resist and are organizing themselves to defend their rights.
For more about the organizing in the Jordan Valley, please read the interview with Abu Saqr, community elder of al Hadidiya and founding member of the Popular Council of the Jordan Valley.
For a documentary on the Jordan Valley and the decades old struggle against Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing, see this al Jazeera documentary.
To read the EU statement on al Hadidiya, click here.